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College of Sciences faculty members were celebrated by their students for outstanding teaching and educational impact.
273 academic and research faculty members from across the Institute received promotions during the spring semester. We are thankful for their contributions and honored to celebrate their accomplishments.
A Hruby Fellowship will support Malatesta in her independent career at Sandia National Laboratories.
A team of Georgia Tech and MIT researchers found that discarded brewer’s yeast, when encased in hydrogel capsules, becomes a viable and inexpensive method for purifying contaminated water.

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Experts in the news

The Peach State is not typically a hotbed of seismic activity, but residents in pockets of North Georgia have been feeling some unexpected vibrations lately after the area has been jolted by five small earthquakes over the last 10 days. 

Georgia is located in the middle of the North American Plate, the vast tectonic plate that sits beneath almost all of North America, parts of the Caribbean, Greenland and much of the Atlantic Ocean. Earthquakes — particularly strong ones — are much more likely in places like California, which sit along major plate boundaries.

Still, small earthquakes are fairly common in Georgia, experts say. The state typically experiences between 10 and 20 earthquakes above magnitude 2.0 each year, said Andy Newman, professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

The three earthquakes at Lake Lanier’s southern end represent a “swarm” of seismic activity, but scientists say such clusters are also common.

“Generally, if you have one earthquake, the best place to guess where the next earthquake is going to occur is right near the same location,” Newman said.

(This also appeared at Macon Telegraph and Phys.org.)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sea cucumbers, scavengers of the seafloor that resemble the cylindrical vegetable, have been consumed as a delicacy in Asia for centuries. But in recent decades, they’ve been severely overharvested to a point that they are now quite rare. New research that Mark E. Hay, Regents Chair and the Harry and Anna Teasley Chair in Environmental Biology, helped conduct suggests their repopulation could play an important role in protecting and revitalizing another type of endangered marine organism: corals. (This also appeared at Statesville Record and Landmark.)

The Conversation

As they seep and calve into the sea, melting glaciers and ice sheets are raising global water levels at unprecedented rates. To predict and prepare for future sea-level rise, scientists need a better understanding of how fast glaciers melt and what influences their flow.  Now, a study by MIT scientists offers a new picture of glacier flow, based on microscopic deformation in the ice. The results show that a glacier’s flow depends strongly on how microscopic defects move through the ice.

“This study really shows the effect of microscale processes on macroscale behavior,” says Meghana Ranganathan who led the study as a MIT graduate student and is now a NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “These mechanisms happen at the scale of water molecules and ultimately can affect the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.” (This also appeared at Mirage News and Phys.org.)

Eurasia Review